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with him, and the constant Spectators both of his Glories and Troubles •, as we may read at large in all the four Evangeliits. This way of following Christ was peculiar to the Apostles and first Disciples, who had the Honour of living, seeing and conversing with him during his Abode upon Earth •, which was a Privilege not to be enjoy'd by any since his Ascension into Heaven. But there are two Ways of following Christ still attainable by us; in both which Senses we are stil'd his Followers. As, -*.
zdly, By following his Doctrine, and learning of him: This Privilege the Apostles had by receiving the Word front Christ's own Mouth; but we have it at second hand, by receiving it from them who have handed it down to us. However, the Doctrine is the fame in both, and we are as well taught by him now, as they were then. He that teaches another, and instils his Instructions into him, is laid to be his Master; and they that are taught by him, and embrace his Tenets, are stil'd his Followers. Now we are bid as much to learn of him as his first Disciples • , and his Apostles inculcate upon us the fame Lessons as he did upon them;, to wit, that the same Mind should be in us, as was in Christ Jesus: So that as he was equally a Teacher to them and us, so are we equally his Disciples and Followers well as they •, and so we may all well be, for he was a Teacher come from God, and was alone able to deliver the Words of eternal Life. He hath given us the belt Instructions and Assistances too that were ever communiqated to the World, and hath deliver'd the most sublime and heavenly Truths that we are capable of receiving; by learning whereof we cannot mils the Way to eternal Life: and so by embracing of them we are truly and properly faid to be his Followers.
To be a Follower of Christ, is to follow his Example, and to act by the Pattern that he hath set us: He that treads in the fame Steps after another,, is faid to follow him; and he that takes Christ for his Director and Guide, and walks even as he walked, may be justly reckon'd in the number of. his Followers. Now Christ hath given us the bill Example for our Imitation he hath gone every step of our way to Heaven before us, to the intent (faith the Apostle) that we should follow his Steps, who did no Sin, neither was any Guile found in his Mouth. He hath set before us the most excellent Pattern of Love, Meekness, Humility and Patience, and indeed of all other Ver
tues j tues '., In which we are bid to be Followers of him as dear Children: And when we are arriv'd to that, we may be said with the Disciples in the Text, to forsake all, and follow him,
This is the whole Drift and Design of this Day's Gofoel j which having improv'd all along as I have gone in it, there can be no need of any farther Application. Briefly then let us leatn from hence, i.
ifi, To confirm our Faith and Hope in our Blessed Saviour, and in all times of Difficulty and Difappointment stedfastly to believe and stick to him.
zdly, From this Instance of his miraculous Power and Goodness, learn to go on diligently and chearfully in the Duties of your several Callings, and in the Use of all lawful Means firmly trust and rely upon his Providence for the Issue and good Success of them.
3<#y, Let us from hence learn to be constant and faithful Followers of Christ, both in his Doctrine and Example; so shall we, who now follow him in Grace and Holiness here, hereafter follow him to Glory: Which God grant, for the Merits of Jesus Christ, &c.
The Epistle for the Sixth Sunday aftef Trinity.
Ronr.vi. 3 1*.
Kjiow ye not, that so many of us, as mre baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptiz.ed into his Death? , Therefore we are buried, with him by Baptism into Death; that like as Christ was raised us from the Dead by the' Glory of the father, even so we also should walk in Newness of Life, &c.
THE Collect for this Day minds us of the good things which God hath prepar'd for them that love him, which are indeed such as pass Man's Understanding; and from thence teaches us to pray to him to pour into our Hearts such Love towards him, that we loving him above all things, may obtain his Promises, which exceed all that we can desire, thro Jesus Christ our Lord.
Now hecause these good things are obtain'd for us by the Death of Christ, and the Promises of them depend much upon his Resurrection; therefore the Epistle for the Day mentions our Conformity to both, as the best Means to procure a Title to them, and to secure an Interest in them: which things are represented to us in our Baptism, and the Profession made in it obliges us to them.
As for our Conformity to the Death of Christ, the Apostle asks the Question in the beginning, Know ye not, that so many of us, as were baptised into Christ, were baptised into his Death? meaning, that 'twas a thing well known among Christians, that the Immersion in Baptism refer'd to the Death of Christ: the potting -the Person baptiz'd into the Water, represented and proclaim'd his Death and the plunging him over head and ears in the Water, according to the Custom of those Countries, signify'd their being bury'd with Christ. Therefore (faith the Apostle in the next Verse) we are buried with him by Baptism into Death: Our being dip'd in Water in the Font being a Sacred Figure of his being dip'd in Blood, and laid: up in the Grave -, which in the next Verse is stil'd;, our being planted together m the Likeness of his Death, that like as Christ was fwallow'd up os Death, and bury'd in the Earth, so we are overwhelm'd in Baptism, and bury'd in the Waters
This is briefly our Conformity to Christ's Death, as ,tis represented in Baptism; the End whereof is to mortify and kill Sin in us: and therefore antiently they who were baptiz'd were woat to put off their Garments, as a Sign or Token of their putting off the whole Body of Sin, and being dead to it; as- we shall fee after.
As for our Conformity to. Christ's Resurrection, that likewise is here set forth as represented in Baptism: for as the: being cover'd all over in Water, according to the antient Ceremony, signify'd the being dead and bury'd with Christy fo the rising up again out of the Water, signify'd their rising again with Christ: that like as he was rais'd from the Dead by the Glory of his Father, even Jo we also should walk in Newness of Life; and as we ar* planted in the Likeness of his Death, so are we in the Likeness of his Resurrection: the dipping of the Body under the Water, and the rising of it again out of the Water in Baptism, being lively Symbols and Figures of both.
But what were the Ends or design'd Effects of this Likeness or Conformity to Christ's Death and Resurrection? Why, that the following Part of this Epistle will inform \js. And,
First, The End of our Conformity to Christ's Death was (as I hinted before), the killing of Sin in us, and the forfaking osjt in the whole Course of our Converfation: so the next words speak of it as a thing well known and taken for granted; Knowing this (faith the Apostle) that our old Man is crucified with him, that the Body of Sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve Sin. Where, by the old ^Ufan. we are to. understand that Corruption of Nature, which we deriv'd from our first Parents, whereby all the Faculties of the Soul, and the Members of the Body be«ame the Instruments and Servants of Sin. This Depravedr »efe of Nature is in Scripture often call'd the old Man, which is corrupt according to the sinful Lusts. Now the End of Christ's Death was to crucify this old Man; and ©W conforming to it, is to have h crucify'd with him: so
N 4 StSt. Paul declares of himself, / am crucify d with Christ, Gal. 2. 20. Because the World is apt to draw us into the Love and Service of the old Man, he tells us, that the Woid was crucify'd unto him, and he unto the World; Gal. 6. 14. withal minding us, that they that are Christ's have crucified the Flesh with the Affections and Lusts; Gal. 5. 24. And all this, that the Body of Sin may he destroy d in tu. St. Paul complain'd of this Body of Sin as the greatest Burden he groan'd under, and of which he most desir'd to be eas'd, faying, O wretched Man that 1 ami who shall deliver me from this Body Sin and Death? Rom. 7. 24. Now Christ by his Death frath deliver'd us from this Body of Death , and our being baptiz'd into his Death at once represents and entitles us to that Deliverance, by which we are so far made free, that henceforth we should not serve Sin: which Freedom hath deliver'd us both from the Power and the Guilt of Sin.
As for the Power of Sin, that is destroy'd for us by the Power of Divine Grace -, insomuch that Sin shall no longer reign in our mortal Bodies, that we should obey it in the Lusts thereof. Sin indeed domineers and rules in the Hearts of the Children of Disobedience- , it hath set up its Empire or Kingdom within them, and so made them Slaves and Vassals to their vile Affections-, but this Kingdom is pull'd down and destroy'd by.the Influence of the Divine Spirit: so that now if we manfully withstand it, it can have no Dominion over us, and without our own yielding and consent it cannot prevail against us -, its Power is broken, and the Grace of God is sufficient to fortify us against its strongest Temptations: which made St. Paul fay, that he could do all things thro Christ that strengthned him.
And as the Power of Sin is destroy'd, so is the Guilt of it remov'd by the Death of Christ; the Sting of it is pluckt out, and it can now do us no more harm than a dead Lion or a painted Serpent; the Cry of it is filenc'd by the Blood of Christ, and its Obligation to Punishment wholly taken off by his pardoning Grace: for there is now no Condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the Flejh, but after the Spirit, Rom.8.. 1.
These things are all confirm'd to us in the next words; Tor he that is dead is freed from Sin, As a Man that is dead is free from the Dominion of any, that before had power g/er him, so he that is dead to Sin, is deliver'd from the Dominion and Power of it; all human Slavery ends with